Saturday, April 21, 2012


Touretterism: (noun) something that I say as a Touretter to somebody who is neurotypical that sounds as though I mean one thing, but when in reality I mean something completely different.

An example of a Touretterism: "I’m just really tired today."
What I’m really saying: "I may be tired, but actually there is so much going on in my brain right now that I can’t keep a conversation straight in my head. Also, I probably look like hell from ticcing all day yesterday, giving the illusion of being tired.  Mentally, I'm exhausted; I can't make my brain keep up with my body.  Maybe I slept 8 or more hours last night, but my brain and body are so tired I could take a nap right now."

"I'm fine."
Translation: "I’m anything but; however, for me to explain what’s wrong with me will take too much time and energy."
Alternate Translation: "I am fine.  This is my "normal".  This is what my life is like all the time.  I know I may not look fine, but trust me I really am."
(By the way, this line is most likely me begging you to stop the conversation; just because I have Tourette's doesn't mean we have to talk about it.)

"There’s just a lot of people here right now."
Translation: "Could that asshole be standing any closer to me?"   
Alternate translation: "I’m about to use you as a human shield to protect innocent strangers from errant tics. Get ready."
Alternate translation: "Wow!  Look at all these people I'm about to get to pay attention to me!"

"I had a rough night last night," or "I had trouble sleeping last night."
Translation: "I ticced so hard last night I really hurt myself."   
Alternate translation: "I ticced so hard last night I fell out of bed or I couldn’t sleep." 
Alternate translation: "I slept perfectly fine last night, I just look like hell from 2 weeks of sleepless nights prior to last night."

"I’m just under a lot of stress right now."
Translation: "You dimwit, Tourette’s isn’t a mood ring. Just because I’m ticcing doesn’t mean anything is wrong. But if I deny it, you will disagree with me as if I don’t know my own body. So yes, I’m "stressed"."

"Whoops! My words just won’t come out right today."
Translation: "Oh crap. I hit my head a lot harder than I thought yesterday."
(I have semi-permanent mild aphasia; all it takes is one good head-bang or migraine or no sleep to bring it out.  The more tired I am, the worse it gets.  My kids I teach looooove correcting me, "Ms Shaw, I think you meant...")

"Noise? What noise?"
Translation: "No seriously. What noise? Why do you think it was me?" : )

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